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U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Michael Morgan, formerly an officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., to serve 30 months in prison for depriving an inmate of his civil rights. Morgan and other RCI officers from three different shifts assaulted Kenneth Davis, an inmate, in March 2008, in retaliation for a prior incident in which Davis struck an officer.
Morgan pleaded guilty on Jan. 10, 2013, to deprivation of rights under color of law. According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Morgan acknowledged that after he heard officers yelling at Davis for having previously hit an officer, he kicked Davis in the groin and then watched another officer kick Davis. Morgan also admitted that he tried to cover up his involvement in the assault by providing false testimony during an administrative hearing on June 17, 2008.
“The defendant participated in one of the series of assaults suffered by Mr. Davis, and then he lied to cover up his involvement,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The defendant’s actions run completely counter to the responsibilities and trust given to correctional officers. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those officers who, like this defendant, commit a crime under color of law.”
To date, 16 current or former officers at RCI have been convicted in connection with the series of assaults that Kenneth Davis suffered on March 8-9, 2008. Four former officers still await sentencing by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.
The case was investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI, and prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.